Super Tuesday, the one-day megaprize in the race for the U.S. presidential nomination, is over.
The front-runners – billionaire Donald Trump and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton – cemented their leads in the Republican and Democrat races respectively. But, they are far from securing their parties’ nominations.
With several major primaries and caucuses looming, the challengers on both sides say they are ready to fight to the end.
On Tuesday, the southern state of Mississippi and northern state of Michigan will hold primaries for both parties. Republicans also will caucus in Hawaii and hold a primary in Idaho.
But the big prize is Michigan, with its 147 delegates for the Democrats and 59 for the Republicans.
Trump has an 18-point lead over his nearest challenger, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who is polling less than a percentage point ahead of John Kasich, the governor of neighboring Ohio, according to a RealClear Politics polling average.
Kasich is hoping a win in Michigan will give him the much needed momentum ahead of crucial March 15 primaries in his home state of Ohio, as well as Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina.
A strong showing in Michigan and a win in Ohio are critical to his ability to continue in the race.
Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich shakes hands after speaking at a rally at the Monroe County Community College in Monroe, Michigan, March 7, 2016.
Kasich told Michigan voters Monday that he understands the anger and anxieties of Trump supporters, but that unlike the GOP front-runner, he also understands how to fix the country’s problems.
On the other side of the aisle, Clinton is expected to cruise to an easy win with a 20-point lead, according to the RealClear Politics polling average.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist survey released Sunday shows nationwide support for Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is split almost evenly among white voters, 49 percent to 48 percent, respectively, but Clinton pulls far ahead of Sanders, 76 percent to 21 percent, among likely African American voters.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton responds to a question during the FOX News town hall at the Gem Theatre in Detroit, March 7, 2016.
As the candidates march toward their respective nominating conventions in July, here’s where they stand in the delegate count:
A total of 2,383 delegates is needed to secure the Democratic nomination. Clinton has collected nearly half that total, leading Sanders by a 1,121-to-481 margin.
In the Republican contest, the winner needs 1,237 delegates. So far, Trump has 382, Cruz 300, Florida Senator Marco Rubio 128 and Kasich 35.
The winners of the two parties’ nomination contests will face each other in November’s national election to pick the successor to President Barack Obama, who leaves office in January 2017 after eight years in the White House. The U.S. Constitution limits presidents to two four-year terms.